Science continually strives to explain the world around us and to make our lives that much easier. 2017 saw some amazing discoveries. Here are the 5 most important scientific discoveries of 2017.
- A Spinach leaf was transformed into acceptable human heart tissue
A team of specialists used detergent to strip down a green spinach leaf. When the leaf was completely stripped what they had was a cellulose matrix that bore a striking resemblance to the vascular structure of the human heart. The scientist took cardiac muscle cells and they seeded them onto the spinach leaf. After a five day period, the spinach leaf began to have beating cells on it. Here is a closer look at the process.
- Fetal Lambs were kept alive inside an artificial womb.
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has scientists who have been successful at creating an artificial womb that sustained the life of a fetal lamb. This breakthrough may be used to save premature babies. The artificial womb was created with a plastic bag that the scientists put synthetic amniotic fluid into. They attached a machine outside of the bag to attach to the umbilical cord just like the natural mother’s placenta should attach. The placenta delivered oxygen and necessary nutrients to the fetal lamb and the fetal lamb then continued to grow and develop as it would have a natural mother. This is promising to us all.
- An exoplanet was discovered by Harvard’s MEarth Project.
This exoplanet has the most promising opportunity for us to find possible alien life. The planet is roughly forty light years away from earth and the scientists think this planet may have water on its surface. Water is one of the key life-sustaining elements that we know of. The planet is also temperate and the surface area is said to be rocky. In the future, we may just be able to prove that there is life out there other than our own.
- Regenerative medicine may have found a breakthrough that will help them to create an artificial human tissue that can be grown in a lab.
This tissue would possibly offer patients with nerve damage or patients with missing limbs or patients who needed transplants to have an enhanced possibility of life. The tissue growing knowledge would help more people to be cured of what is now life-threatening and life-altering conditions.
- A CRISPR trial to edit genes inside the human body and eliminate diseases like HPV had an amazing breakthrough in 2017.
The trial applies a gel to women who have the active HPV virus. That gel contains DNA coding that can tell the virus to stop growing and multiplying. This could be a cure for many diseases that we currently battle as humans. The the success of this trial may eradicate certain cancers and other diseases that are now ending lives far too soon.